PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have joined other global telcos in exploring next-generation technology to make its network more efficient, resilient, flexible, and intelligent.
Along with members of the global Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance, PLDT and Smart have begun looking into Network Disaggregation, both vertical and horizontal.
In vertical disaggregation, network functions decouple software from hardware therefore allowing multiple combinations to be used. Horizontal disaggregation, on the other hand, decomposes established network functions into more granular elements and new interfaces are designed and specified.
Ultimately, this creates more players that can develop specific components of the overall architecture, leading to a broader ecosystem, accelerating innovation, and obtaining better and more cost-effective solutions.
Network Disaggregation is seen as both a consequence of the Digital Transformation as well as an accelerator of that journey. As a result, networks become increasingly agile, flexible, and responsive. All of these enable the delivery of new communication services tailored to user needs.
“Working with major operators around the world and having them accept our inputs and analyses as co-author of NGMN’s latest white paper on ODiN (Operating Disaggregated Networks), bolsters PLDT and Smart’s thought leadership in the global arena. This enables us to elevate our network, solutions and competencies to be at par with international operators, and bring world-class services and technologies to our own customers here in the Philippines,” said Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart.
The journey toward network disaggregation is just beginning. “We are now building our expertise through our involvement in projects like this and working with experts from around the world, so that we are able to apply our learnings on our network, when it becomes beneficial to business and the time is right. We believe that network disaggregation, which includes cloud native implementation of Core and Open RAN (ORAN), offers a lot of potential for operators to be more agile and cost effective in operating the network. In line with this, PLDT and Smart is also preparing the ground works for the trial of Open RAN, which is a major component of network disaggregation, in its laboratory or Technolab,” said Arvin L. Siena, Head of Technology Strategy and Transformation Office of PLDT and Smart and also a member NGMN Board of Directors.